Event Report: 1st Beer Feast Takes Place at Canoe Brewpub

Seared Sturgeon course at Canoe Brewpub's Beer Feast. Photo by Elizabeth Nyland

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the very first Beer Feast at Canoe Brewpub. The Feast can only be described as an intimate dinner for a few dozen people held in the upper loft of the Canoe’s expansive seaside space. Dim lighting, candles and  rustic driftwood centerpieces set the mood for what would become a delicious insight into local fall fare and the distinctive brews Canoe has to offer.

Sitting at large common tables packed with friends and strangers alike, the dinner was started with a sharing board of Whole Beast Artisan Salumeria’s cured meats, Yarrow Meadows duck paté and some house made ale infused cheese paired with Canoe’s River Rock Bitter. Warm breads and lavash filled out the course.

Following this was a perfectly seared Fraser River sturgeon paired with a delightful chorizo filled grit cake, pickled fennel and a red pepper coulis. This dish was paired with the Red Canoe Lager. The smoky sturgeon played well off the sweet notes of the grit cake and the intense coulis.

Next up was a tiny smattering of Yarrow Meadows duck confit (like a wonderfully rich poultry version of pulled pork) over a very well dressed rocket and celeriac salad paired with the Siren’s Song Pale Ale. A surprisingly light course, this felt indulgent with the rich flavours of the duck.

Our next course, “to amuse” (no pairing) was a simple and rustic 5 onion and ale soup with traditional crouton and Little Qualicum Cheeseworks Raclette.

After all this amazing food (in very small portions), the next dish was set to be the star of the show and it did not disappoint. A large serving of braised Cache Creek beef short ribs served over root vegetable mash with wilted greens and fresh horseradish surely stole the show. The beef was rich and melt in your mouth good and the whole dish was very satisfying paired with the Southern Cross IPA.

After a couple of hours of conversation with new friends eating delightful food and drinking impressive brews what else could we do but share more food? Our last course was a beautiful dessert assortment with Little Brown ale float, honey and  pale ale panna cotta, brown ale chocolate cake and almond beer brittle. The desserts were beautiful. The panna cotta was possibly the best I have ever had  the pleasure of eating, an impressive creamy texture and perfect level of sweetness. Although I was not a fan of the beer and ice cream pairing, the cake was beautifully moist and the frosting rich and creamy. Even the tiny chunk of brittle was a glorious blend of butter, sugar and beer.

After this little pleasure, I could surely say I was stuffed. And for the very reasonable cost of $55 (including all food and drink pairings) how could one go wrong?

General manager Ryan McGregor shared the inspiration behind the event, saying that, “We wanted to share our love of great food and beer, and the ways the two can interact with each other. Hopefully we present a taste or a combination of flavours that people may not have considered before, and they can take that away with them, into their own kitchens.”

When I asked if Victorians are open to events like these he mused that “We Victorians are extraordinarily lucky to have such a range of local artisans creating real consumables, and we don’t take it for granted… The fact that we can fill our restaurant with like-minded people for an event like this is a testament to the support of our local patrons, and their desire to eat and drink great, real, handcrafted food and beverages.”

This was a fantastic event to attend and I was impressed with the level of service provided to such a large group of people. This will surely not be the last event Canoe holds and I plan on keeping an eye out for the next announcement.

Canoe Brewpub
450 Swift Street, Victoria, BC

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